Creamy seafood chowder and oregano biscuits

This past August, my husband and I traveled to Prince Edward Island to celebrate the wedding of my best friend and her husband.  We were lucky enough to get a few extra days off work, giving us the opportunity to travel around the province a little before heading back home.  Aside from the beautiful landscape and charming people, we experienced an abundance of fresh seafood prepared in a variety of delicious ways.  One of the dishes PEI is known for is their seafood chowder, and after one bowl we were hooked (in fact, my husband requested this for his birthday dinner).  My best friend’s Aunt has her own delicious version and, although I didn’t use her recipe, I was inspired by her advice: when using delicious seafood, who needs potatoes?  There are many recipes of this dish online: mine is inspired by them and utilizes our favourite seafood selections.  If you choose, you could use different fish or remove/add another type of seafood to add your own spin on the chowder.  This is a very versatile recipe so be creative and have fun!

6 cups stock (I used chicken, but a pescetarian could substitute vegetable)
3/4 onion, diced
2 carrots, chopped into 1 cm chunks
2 stalks of celery, chopped into 1 cm chunks
1/2 lb salmon, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 lb scallops, cut in half lengthwise
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (I purchased frozen shrimp and defrosted them)
1 lobster tail, chopped into bite sized pieces
Bag of mussels (I believe the bag was approximately 2 lbs)
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups ‘half n half ‘cream
1 cup butter, cut into 1 inch chunks
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Large pasta pot

Add your stock to the pot and bring it to a boil.  Add your chopped onions, carrots and celery and cook until the vegetables are tender; about twenty minutes.

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Next, add your seafood (minus the mussels) to the pot.

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Turn down the heat to medium and cook until your salmon is firm but slightly translucent in the middle; about ten minutes.

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Next, add your mussels and both kinds of cream.  Finally, top off with the chunks of butter and season with salt and pepper.  Cover your chowder and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, until your fish is fully cooked; about twenty minutes.

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While your chowder is simmering, pre heat your oven to 425 F and prepare your delicious fluffy biscuits.

2 cups AP flour, plus extra for rolling and cutting your biscuits
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp white sugar
1/2 cup butter, cold
1 cup milk
Large glass or biscuit cutter
Baking tray
Parchment or Silpat mat

In a large bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients.  Next, grate your cold butter into the dry ingredients and mix with your fingers until the mixture resembles a course meal.  Add your milk and stir until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of your bowl.

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Knead your dough (either by hand or with your mixer) until it has fully come together in a smooth ball.  Turn your dough out onto a floured board and roll it out to 1 inch thick.  Dip your glass rim into flour then use it to cut circles out of your dough.  Continue, reusing the extra, until all the dough is used.  Lay your biscuits onto your baking sheet.

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Bake your biscuits for 13-15 minutes; until golden brown and fluffy.

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Serve your biscuits fresh out of the oven with a large bowl of hot chowder.  Enjoy!

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